PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray, who is sticking to her guns on the provincial government’s plans to raise the provincial minimum wage to $15 by 2018. Below: Notable fair wage campaigners, Joe Ceci, finance minister of Alberta; Frankli… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Albertans hear the same old same old as fast-food restaurant owners grow hysterical over minimum wage
PHOTOS: Environment Minister Shannon Phillips at a related announcement last fall. As you can see, some of the same supporters were with her yesterday, as shown below by the Government of Alberta photo taken at the notorious Sky Palace in Edmonton, whi… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Brace for it: Alberta is about to endure weeks of vicious climate-change-induced political weather!
PHOTOS: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s misleading “debt clock” trailer back when Alberta’s debt wasn’t $10 billion. Now it isn’t $17 billion. Below: CTF Alberta Director Paige MacPherson, telling Okotoks Online that 44,000 teachers sho… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Postmedia’s symbiotic relationship with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation fails to offer much illumination
PHOTOS: A typical Canadian Taxpayers Federation stunt, moved from place to place across Canada with the goal of undermining public services and speeding the race to the bottom. The picture at bottom right shows Alberta Wildrose Opposition Finance Criti… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: What’s behind ‘Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation’ campaigns like its stunt calling for rollbacks in Alberta teachers’ pay?
PHOTOS: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley take questions from the media in this screen shot of the government’s video. Bloggers were not invited, but I’m blaming the feds and promising not to go all Rebel Medi… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Grits in Ottawa and Dippers in Edmonton: far from the worst combination for keeping Alberta’s economy in motion
PHOTOS: Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan. Below: Mr. McGowan with federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair; Calgary Sun columnist Rick Bell. Many progressive Albertans who were shocked and troubled by the Notley Government’s dramatic rever… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan assails Notley Government’s royalty ‘mistake’
PHOTOS: The next Apocalypse is scheduled for Friday morning. There will be an embargoed media briefing first. Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean and Royalty Review Advisory Panel Chair Dave Mowat. Brace yourself for a stor… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: NDP to release new energy royalty framework at week’s end – brace yourself for Apocalypse Friday!
ILLUSTRATIONS: A mosaic planned for some future Legislature renovation showing the Opposition and Government positions on the budget. Below: A scene from the Kabuki theatre in which actors portraying Premier Rachel Notley and Finance Minister Joe Ceci contemplate the books left them by the PC government … or something. Below that: Finance Minister Joe Ceci . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Reaction to this afternoon’s Budget Speech is bound to be completely predictable
PHOTOS: Premier Rachel Notley with Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous and Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee moments after the two cabinet members were sworn into their new portfolios. Below: Labour and Advanced Education Minister Lori Sigurdson. A key part of the business of any government is the business of business, and Alberta’s New . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP government gets serious about economic diversification, an overdue change
ILLUSTRATIONS: Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, back in the day. Below: A newer version of the same hospital, one of the buildings that’s now falling apart. (From CardCow.com) Below that image: Wildrose Health Critic Drew Barnes; Richard Starke, MLA, and Richard Starkey, MBE. Anybody who’s been inside the Royal Alexandra Hospital in the past decade knows . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition: just off the turnip truck … or what?
PHOTOS: A Russian Su-34 bomber releases a bomb near the provisional ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria. (Russian Ministry of Defence photo.) Below: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian civil war has offered a unique teaching moment for Canadians about the . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Lawyers, guns and money: Russia’s intervention in Syria offers a useful teaching moment for Canadians
PHOTOS: Calgary in the near future, as fancifully described by the usual suspects at the University of Calgary, if the NDP doesn’t start delivering Conservative polices with alacrity. Below: U of Calgary Professor Jack Mintz, grabbed from Imperial Oil’s annual report; former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge. VICTORIA, B.C. “Alberta is not yet Greece, . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: ‘Alberta is not Greece yet’ … Why do we have to pay for Jack Mintz’s mythmaking?
Premier Jim Prentice points the way for public spending in Alberta now that our boom has gone bust again. Oil prices, ya know… But read the Reaper’s grim lips: “No new taxes!” Actual Alberta premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Finance Minister Robin Campbell, Infrastructure Minister Manmeet Bhullar and Labour Minister . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Prentice Government takes Alberta from boom to bust in one weekend, breaking all records
Keep those wells a-pumpin! Keep those oil prices low! Squeeze those Russkies! Uh … just a minute. … isn’t that bad for Alberta’s many varieties of Conservative? Below: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Mr. Harper’s hero, Margaret Thatcher.
The Globe and Mail, tireless cheerleader for the Harper Government, . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta’s big problem is the same as Russia’s – so what’s Stephen Harper doing about it?
The Fraser Institute: peddling conclusions that don’t match the evidence and have enough holes to store captured carbon. Actual Fraser Institute “fellows” may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: A piece of Swiss cheese, which may actually resemble the claims in a Fraser Institute press release, metaphorically speaking.
If the Fraser Institute told . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: What the Fraser Institute’s numbers actually show, minus the spin: Alberta has a revenue problem, not a spending problem
A worker in Fort McMurray prepares to drive this truck through the holes in the Fraser Institute’s “report,” which claims Alberta’s finances are in worse shape than those of places like Texas, North Dakota and Louisiana. Below: The Norwegian oil port of Stavanger, which, according to the Fraser Institute, doesn’t exist!
Alberta should . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: You could drive one of those tar sands heavy haulers through the gaping holes in the latest Fraser Institute ‘study’ of Alberta’s finances
There’s always been a worldwide pool of skilled and unskilled employees like these fellows for jobs in North America – immigration. Below: Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.
Canadians are within their rights to be highly skeptical of the long list of changes to the Harper Government’s Temporary Foreign Workers . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Three reasons why Ottawa’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program ‘reforms’ likely mean little
How Albertans should see Progressive Conservative and Wildrose policies and procedures. Below: The clever Wildrose Facebook attack on PC Premier Alison Redford’s faintly unsavoury taxpayer-funded mail out, which makes it look a little worse than it really is.
Am I the only one who sees irony in the leader of Alberta’s ultra-conservative Wildrose . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Ironies abound in Alberta’s agitated politics as Alison Redford cranks up the postage meter
Alberta Health Services Board Chair Stephen Lockwood demonstrates how to trim a provincial health care budget. Actual AHS board members may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Lockwood in his official AHS portrait.
Two pernicious and slightly dissonant myths that cloud discussion of public health care are the idea that . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta Health Services trimmers toss out a couple of market-fundy myths to save cash
Typical Alberta Progressive Conservative Party members. Or, wait, are those Wildrose members? Alberta’s rural elite may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. Where’s the NDP when we need them?
Here it is 2013, the Earth is about to become . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta still needs a “city party” – a role the New Democratic Party could fill
Finance Minister Doug Horner preps Albertans for yesterday’s budget. Actual Alberta finance ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated – but that’s the trick, isn’t it? Below: The real Doug Horner.
All in all, I guess, you could make a good case this was a pretty lousy budget.
It’s deeply confusing, as without . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Close enough for government work: Alberta Tories manage to hold their centre-right turf
Typical Albertans await tomorrow’s budget aboard the Good Ship Richest Place on Earth. Alberta may not actually be as damp as illustrated. Below: Premier Alison Redford. Why is this woman smirking?
Oh, we’ll squeeze you till the pips squeak, Premier Alison Redford seemed to be promising Albertans yesterday, as we nervously awaited the . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta budget primer: when they say ‘tough decisions,’ they really mean … ‘decisions that will be tough on you’
Everybody should be as happy about Alberta’s “Bitumen Gusher” as these two guys, your blogger and former Finance Minister Ron Liepert. Below: AUPE’s chart of the price differential between Alberta bitumen and West Texas Intermediate crude. Below that: The Alberta government’s chart showing its natural resource revenue projections to 2022, prepared for last . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Are Alberta’s cannily incompetent Conservatives quietly awaiting a ‘Bitumen Gusher’?
First World money and Third World roads. If we’re so rich in Alberta, why do we seem so poor? A motorist negotiates one of Edmonton’s famed potholes. Actual Edmonton drivers may not have snappy uniforms like this fellow. Below: Author, professor and former Alberta Liberal politician Kevin Taft, the cover of Follow the . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Looking back in perplexity: where did all of Alberta’s money go again?
Freddy Lee Morton, in happier times, with your blogger. Below: Firewaller Tom Flanagan; the entire separatist 2001 Firewall team (grabbed from the National Post).
Freddy Lee “Ted” Morton, the worst premier Alberta never had, was back in the pages of the Calgary Herald the other day, bloviating at length about the need for . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: ‘Freddy Lee’ Morton, the journalistic sequel: We’ve already seen this horror movie, thanks!